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Socks and Summer Heat

Summer heat can be all around brutal. As you might have encountered here in the Gulf South, you can find yourself drenched in sweat within a matter of minutes of stepping outside. But, did you know this can lead to some pretty serious foot problems? Toenail fungus, blisters, ingrown toenails and athlete’s foot are all aggravated by excessive moisture.

With over 250,000 sweat glands, your feet sweat about 10 to 15 gallons per year. That’s a lot more than other parts of your body. Because sweat and moisture substantially increase the likelihood of friction and irritation between your shoe and your foot, it is even more important to take care of your feet in extreme heat. 

Luckily, socks can alleviate some of these issues, but choosing the right type is crucial.

Traditional fabrics like wool and cotton can absorb some of this moisture, but with these materials, the moisture gets trapped in, leading to more blisters. Thankfully, as sock technology advances, there are new, “high tech” sock options that outperform these traditional options.

Socks made of bamboo blends and synthetic fibers offer a more breathable option while effectively absorbing and wicking away moisture. Synthetic fiber socks significantly surpassed natural fiber (wool and cotton) socks in four important areas: 

  1. Ability to wick away fluid from the skin

  2. Resist compaction and maintain shape when wet

  3. Pressure and shear force management

  4. Compressive support 

Though you might think that adding an extra layer would make your feet hotter and sweatier, investing in the right pair of synthetic fiber socks can actually prevent hot, humid feet by wicking away moisture, while still being breathable. Plus, synthetic fiber socks are more durable, so the right pair will pay off in the winter months as well. 

In the dog-days of summer, you may even wish to carry around an extra pair of socks when you know that you will be active.  If you go out to venture to your nearest park for a jog or a hike, it may be prudent to have an extra pair of socks to change into when you are done.  That will help keep your feet healthy and fresh.

Keep these ideas in mind the next time you go out and brave the summer heat and remember to wear the right type of socks to protect your feet.

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